Folk woodcut printing awarded national heritage status

VietNamNet Bridge – The making of Dong Ho folk woodcut painting in the northern province of Bac Ninh has been recognised as part of the national intangible cultural heritage.

Dong Ho painting, Bac Ninh, Tet festival
Making Dong Ho folk woodcut painting. (Source:

This was revealed by Nguyen Van Phong, Director of the Bac Ninh provincial Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism on March 6.

The making of Dong Ho folk woodcut painting has its roots in Song Ho commune, Thuan Thanh District.

Traditionally, Dong Ho painting, which reflected a wide range of themes, especially good luck wishes, historical figures, and folk allegories, was part of the essential decorations in each Vietnamese family during the traditional Tet (lunar New Year) festival.

According to the villagers, the making of Dong Ho painting dates back to the 11th century during the reign of the Ly dynasty (1009-1225). However, researchers said the craft began under the rule of the Le dynasty (1428-1788).

In making the painting, Dong Ho craftsmen used raw materials from nature, including making sheets of printing papers from bark of “do” tree and creating colours from earth, burnt bamboo leaves, sea shell.

After printing, the finished painting was covered with a layer of rice paste to strengthen the durability of its illustration and colours and afterwards dried under the sun.

As the traditional craft has faded with time, efforts have been made to preserve it, with Nguyen Dang Che and Nguyen Huu Sam, two of the few remaining experienced craftsmen of the village establishing their own Dong Ho painting centres.

The recognition is expected to help preserve and develop the printing art while increasing public’s awareness of traditional cultural values.

Source: Vietnam Plus

Dong Ho painting, Bac Ninh, Tet festival